Simply Talking With Others About Your Dreams

Often we are shy to speak about our dreams for one reason or another.  So we keep our dreams safe in the secrecy of our heads and hearts.  This is a tempting course, but it can constrain our dreams from growing to their full potential.

Think about how much more powerful our dreams become when we speak them out loud, celebrate them, and take responsibility for them.

When other people know our dreams we give them an opportunity to become part of our dreams and we also inspire them to proclaim their dreams.

To role model what I’m saying, I’ll share one of my dreams with you.

This dream of mine will only take a sentence to say and yet I almost don’t want say it for fear of what you might think about my dream. (The fear that often keeps us quiet about our dreams isn’t necessarily rational, but it is there.)

 Ok, here it goes. I have a dream of being a millionaire many times over, a millionaire financially speaking, as well as, a millionaire in body, mind and spirit.

Wow! Now I can breathe a sigh of relief.  My dream only took a sentence to say and now my dream is out there in the world.  (And my dream is not only out there in the world, it is out there in the world in BOLD 14 point font.)

We can literally breathe fresh life into our dreams by proclaiming them out loud to our family, friends and co-workers. 

(And wouldn’t the people who surround us rather hear about our dreams than our complaints anyway?)

And as an amazing bonus, We Inspire the People We Love and Care About to Share Their Dreams!

(How AWESOME is that!)

Game of the Day

Think about one of your dreams.

How can you state your dream simply and clearly?

Do you have a hesitation about sharing this dream with others?

What would it be like to overcome this hesitation?

What would be some of the benefits of sharing your dreams with others?

If you choose to, who would you share your dream with?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com. 

Honoring the Opportunity To Talk With a Friend (When You Feel Down)

Having a conversation with a friend when you feel down can be a highly rewarding experience for both you and your friend.  This conversation is an amazing opportunity to honor your friend by celebrating the fact that you trust them enough to confide in them.

From my experience with this type of talk, I’ve found that there are a few things to keep in mind so that this conversation can be a strong positive experience for both of you.

  1. Honor your friend’s schedule (if possible)- Sometimes, when we are feeling down, we tend to call our friend with the intention of talking about how we are feeling right this minute.  This strategy can be hard on our friend because they are often already in the middle of doing something.  So it’s probably most effective to schedule a time to talk.  Scheduling a time to talk helps insure that our friend is in a place to give us their full attention.  And it also allows us to collect our thoughts and become clearer as to what we want to talk with our friend about.  (The exception to scheduling a time to talk is if you really feel you are in an emergency situation.  Then call your friend and say, “I am in an emergency situation, can we please talk now.)
  2. As you talk to your friend, honor their listening by expressing how you are feeling honestly and clearly.
  3. Express emotion to your level of comfort.  Do this in such a way that you are expressing how you feel, and at the same time honoring the safety of both you and your friend.  This means that you are focusing on releasing your painful emotions out into the open air rather than directing them towards your friend or back towards yourself.  Think of your emotional energy as releasing from you like smoke from a chimney.  You want this chimney to go straight up from you, so that you are not smoking out your friend or coughing on your own smoke.
  4. When your friend offers a comment, listen closely to them and to your reactions to what they are saying.  Listen for the light at the end of the tunnel.
  5. If you feel like you really just need to express your sadness and frustration, be clear and say.  “I want to express my sadness and frustration right now without focusing on ways to feel better.”  Cues like this let your friend know how to best help you, and also help you maintain your focus on what you are feeling, instead of becoming frustrated and nitpicking about how your friend is responding to you.

These are a few ideas to keep in mind the next time you feel down and reach out to talk with a friend.  By reaching out with respect, you honor both your friend and yourself and create a nice atmosphere for a healing conversation.

Game of the Day

What will your approach be the next time that you are feeling down and reach out to a friend?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Hi! This Is A Conversation

I’ve noticed that sometimes lately upon walking into a store, when the sales person says “Hi,” I immediately just ask them for the product I want to buy.

It occurs to me now that this is a bit strange.  Would I do this at a party?  If someone I have never met said “Hi,” would I immediately ask, “Do you know where the food and drinks are?”

Of course not!  This approach is no way to make an acquaintance, let alone begin a friendship.

So why when I walked into the office supply store just an hour ago and one of the people who worked there said “Hi,” did I immediately ask if the office chair I wanted was in stock?

For all I know, the worker (I don’t have the faintest idea what his name is) could have become a great friend.  Instead, I began my exchange with this man in the same way I begin my exchanges with Google, by asking for what I wanted.  If this is the type of exchange I have with Google (no offense Google), why am I having it with people?

I realize that I need to make an effort not to make my Face Time be like my Google Time.  (Gosh, I never thought I would come to a point of writing about Face Time.  I feel so twenty-first century and yet somewhat nauseous all at once.)

When a person we don’t know says “Hi”, it is an opportunity to start a conversation.  (I know.  Social interaction Pre-101, but I think I need a refresher.)

Conversations needn’t be long to be a conversation.  I think one reason we are afraid of beginning a conversation is that we think it could or should go on and on.

A conversation can be short and still celebrate who someone is.  For example in the office supply store, I could have started a short conversation by offering the person assisting me just a simple expression of appreciation.  Something like, “Thanks so much for being here today.  I really appreciate your assistance.”

Interestingly enough, I had just come from the grand opening of a dance studio.  Now if some men have two left feet, I quite possibly have two left feet, to left hands and to two left elbows (can a person have two left elbows?)  At least this is my assessment of my dancing talent in my mind.

Yet, I danced West Coast Swing and Tango.   Was I dancing like a pro, a semi pro, or even an advanced beginner?  No, I was dancing like an extreme beginner.  AND having an advanced amount of fun!

It occurs to me that when we meet someone and only have time for a short conversation, we can dance into that conversation like an extreme beginner.

Will we ever know the perfect way to begin a short conversation with someone we don’t know?  Probably not!   When we meet anyone for the first time, we are learning to dance in conversation with him or her and they are learning to dance in conversation with us.

Each conversation we have with a person we have never met is a dance into an unknown.

Sometimes, we may feel like we have two left elbows, but when we dance in conversation with people we have just met even for only a minute, we are dancing, celebrating that we are human and they are human and the joy of being alive.  And who knows what will happen.  Great friendships and advanced fun can begin with a short conversation.

Game of the Day

Time to practice your dance moves.  Begin a short conversation with at least three people who you would usually have only a transaction with (think people working at the places you shop and eat or people at your place of work who maybe you have never talked to.)  Have advanced fun being an extreme beginner in these conversations.

Creating A Helpful Conversation When A Friend Is Going Through A Rough Time

For the sake of today’s blog entry, say you have a good friend named Jake who you have known for years.

Your friend Jake calls you at four in the afternoon barely able to get out the words, “I just lost the job I had for twenty years.  Five months ago we got a new boss and he never liked me.  He called me into the his office and said I had to go because I was not keeping up with my paperwork.”

You switch off your computer monitor and the thought goes through your head, “How in the world do I help my wonderful friend?”

Jake’s focus is naturally on the shock, anger and frustration about being unexpectedly fired.  So the best place to start helping Jake is probably right where Jake is focused.  As the conversation progresses, you may be able to help Jake broaden his focus so that he feels more in control and better about the whole situation, but at this moment Jake needs to talk about the loss of his job.

Simply, repeating back to Jake as much as you can remember of what he just said can show Jake that he is being listened to and also have a calming effect. You could start by saying something like this, “So you got a new boss in your office five months ago….” and continue on to repeat the rest of what he said.

Or you can let Jake know that you are listening closely by delivering the content and emotion of what he said back to him but not using his exact words.  In this case, you might say something like “So you are saying you are very frustrated.  Your boss let you go today because he said that you didn’t complete paperwork when he wanted you to.”

Whether you choose to repeat what Jake said back to him or to paraphrase what he said or employ a combination of the two techniques, you show Jake that you heard him and also allow him a chance to slow down his thoughts, which could well be racing, and rehear what he just said.

Once you understand what Jake is dealing with and he feels that you have listened to him, you have an opportunity to begin conversing with Jake in a way that shifts the conversation.

Your purpose in shifting the focus of the conversation is to help Jake feel strong as he deals with this sudden crisis in his life.  So you can begin to remind Jake of the strengths he has.  You can do this by saying something like, “Wow you have twenty years work experience and are well-respected in the field.  It sounds like you would be a good catch for a lot of companies out there.”  Or you can invite Jake to create his own list of strengths by asking the question, “What are your major strengths as you apply for new jobs?”

To end your conversation with Jake consider asking him to reflect on the positive part of his week. Jake presumably had some good things happen in his week before his boss fired him.   Maybe say something like, “I understand that you are thinking a great deal about the news you got today about your job, but aside from that what has been nice about the past week?”  This question gives Jake a chance to enjoy his life again, and to remember more of his strengths.

 Game of the Day

In the next conversation you have with someone who is dealing with an area of struggle try the following practices:

 1.  Repeat or paraphrase what the person says so that you show them that you are listening closely and also allow them a chance to slow down their thoughts.

 2.  Once you understand what they are dealing with and they feel that you have listened to them, shift the focus of the conversation to the person’s strengths by making an observation or asking a question.

 3.  Finally, ask them to reflect on the positive part of their week.  This question gives them a chance to enjoy their life again, and to remember more of their strengths.